UK Sailors Singled Out for Bravery, Dedication
The events off Libya brought recognition to some of the personnel involved in that long and demanding operation. And further east the work in the Gulf and Iraq has won plaudits for other RN sailors.
Lt Cdr James Byron has been recognised with one of the top three military honours – the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) – for his courage and leadership in the military campaign off Libya.
Lt Cdr Byron, as commanding officer of HMS Brocklesby, took his ship within range of pro-Gaddafi gunfire and rocket attack to destroy mines and clear the entrance to Misratah Harbour. His work allowed the only deep-water port in western Libya to stay open to receive essential humanitarian aid for the local population.
Destroyer HMS Liverpool also played a key role in the actions off Libya. Her CO Cdr Colin Williams has been made an OBE for his command of the veteran Type 42 destroyer as she enforced the embargo against the Gaddafi regime during the country’s civil war and performed a vital task for NATO in her air defence mission.
Another minehunter was the source of recognition for WO Jeremy Bean whose hard work and efforts won him a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS) to keep HMS Chiddingfold’s engines running in the demanding conditions of the Gulf.
Another honour has fallen to Reservist Michelle Ping who has received a Mention in Despatches for her efforts in saving the life of a soldier during a firefight with Afghan insurgents. The paramedic, who is an Aircraft Engineer Mechanic as a Reservist, climbed onto a roof to treat Highlander Craig Patterson.
“Some of the boys were on the roof, and one got shot in the head. Someone had taken Craig’s helmet off and he was lying with his eyes open. I thought: ‘I’m not going to let you die.’”
In December Michelle won Best Reservist at The Sun’s Millie military award for her actions.
And finally interpreter Able Rate (AB2) Bruce Morley has also been distinguished with a QCVS for his recent tour of duty in Iraq. An interpreter in the Arabic dialect, he has served in five operational tours with the RN and Army – his most recent calling upon him to use his expert language skills as well as his tact, diplomacy and cultural knowledge to ensure smooth communications between Royal Navy and Iraqi Navy commanders.
The latest operational honours and awards list was announced on Friday March 23, including 131 personnel from across all three Services. The awards are for actions during the period April 1 to September 31 2011, which includes military operations in Afghanistan (Herrick 14) and off Libya (Ellamy).
Naval Today Staff, March 26, 2012; Image: royalnavy